Sunday, May 9, 2010

Wines I'm Making: 2010 Cabernet Shoot Thinning

I got up early this morning--well, early for a Sunday--determined to get the shoots thinned on the Cabernet vines, which I did, all before breakfast, even though it took nearly three hours. This reduces the risk of mildew, gives the ripening berries more air and sun, and reduces the amount of fruit on each vine considerably, which makes for easier-to-ripen, more flavorful fruit. I thinned the Sangiovese vines a while back. Everything looks good.

I ended up waiting longer than usual (although I notice I'm not the only one; the vineyards are full of crews right now doing this same work). The wait--primarily because of all the rain this year--may have been a good thing. I'm hoping some of the excess vigor I always have to deal with will have gone to supporting the extra growth. Maybe the vines won't become quite so huge this year. The top photo shows vines before thinning, the bottom photo vines afterwards and some of the carnage on the ground.

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